Practice area

Car Accident

Minnetonka Car Accident Lawyers

There’s much to love about Minnetonka, with its friendly neighbors and year-round recreation on Lake Minnetonka.

Unfortunately, it’s also one of the worst cities for driving in the state, with red light runners turning the intersection of Highway 7 and County Road 101 into a danger zone, according to Minnetonka Police. Traffic in the Lake Minnesota area where Highways 15 (Shoreline Drive) and 19 (Shadywood Road) converge at rush hour isn’t much safer.

If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a car accident, contact the Minnetonka car accident lawyers at Fields Injury Law. You may recover compensation for your medical bills, pain and suffering, and other damages. 

Why Choose Fields Injury Law?

Minnetonka Personal Injury Lawyers

Fields Law was founded 20 years ago to help people injured in accidents get back on their feet the best way possible. Since then, our firm’s personal injury lawyers have built a track record of success advocating for justice and maximum compensation for our clients.

We take pride in offering personalized service to those in need by listening to their stories and understanding the extent of their needs. Contact a Minnetonka car accident attorney from Fields Injury Law today, and let's discuss your case in a free consultation. 

Do I need a Lawyer for a Car Crash in Minnetonka? 

two drivers arguing after car accident

Car accidents are a leading cause of preventable severe injuries and deaths in the United States. According to the National Safety Council's Injury Facts, nearly 50,000 people died in motor vehicle accidents in one recent year — an 11 percent increase over the previous year. Minnesota isn't immune. More than 1,722 motorists were seriously injured, and 488 were killed in traffic accidents in the state last year. 

People injured in a car accident often face extensive medical treatment. Bills can mount quickly if you cannot work during your recovery. The accident will affect your future earnings if you cannot return to work in the same capacity. This can create hardship for your entire family.

You shouldn't have to pay the price if the negligence or carelessness of another person caused your accident. You deserve compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, and other accident-related losses. Compensation won't remove your accident's physical and emotional scars, but it can ease your financial burden at this difficult time. 

To seek compensation for your injuries, contact a lawyer at Fields Injury Law. Our experienced lawyers know how to handle car accident claims. Research shows accident victims who hire a personal injury attorney to handle their car accident claims recover more compensation than those who do not retain legal representation. 

What Damages Can I Collect in a Motor Vehicle Accident? 

Damages refer to the financial compensation that a personal injury victim may seek to recover from the at-fault party for the harm they suffered due to their negligence or wrongful actions. Damages are typically divided into two categories: economic and non-economic. 

Economic Damages

Economic damages are tangible financial losses that can be quantified.

These include:

  • Medical expenses: Compensation for past and future medical bills, including hospital stays, surgeries, medication, therapy, and rehabilitation. 
  • Property damages: Reimbursement for repairs or replacement of your vehicle and other property the accident damaged. 
  • Lost wages: Compensation for income lost due to missed work days or reduced working capacity caused by injuries sustained in the accident. 
  • Loss of earning capacity: If the accident leaves you with a reduced ability to earn income in the future, you may be compensated for the potential earnings you'll miss out on. 
  • Funeral expenses: In cases of fatal accidents, funeral and burial expenses might be covered. 

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are subjective losses that are more challenging to quantify.

These include:

  • Pain and suffering: Compensation for physical pain, emotional distress, and suffering caused by the accident and its aftermath. 
  • Emotional distress: Compensation for psychological trauma, anxiety, depression, and other emotional consequences resulting from the accident. 
  • Loss of enjoyment: Compensation for the loss of ability to engage in activities you enjoyed before the accident, such as hobbies or sports. 
  • Loss of consortium: Compensation for the impact of the injuries on your relationship with your spouse or partner, which could include companionship, affection, and intimacy. 

Who May You Hold Liable in a Car Accident?

In a car accident case, liability refers to legal responsibility for the accident and the resulting damages. Liability can accrue to one or more parties involved in the accident, and an accident victim may recover compensation from all liable parties, further maximizing their compensation. 

The determination of liability depends on the specific circumstances of the accident.

Here are some parties you can hold liable in a car accident case:

  • Driver of the vehicle: The driver who caused the accident due to negligent or reckless behavior can be held liable. This could include speeding, texting while driving, running a red light, or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Vehicle owner:  If the driver of a vehicle involved in the accident did not own it, you can hold the owner liable if they allowed someone they knew was an unsafe driver to use their vehicle.
  • Employer of the driver: If the driver was operating a vehicle in the course of their employment (e.g., a commercial truck driver), their employer might be held liable under the legal doctrine of "vicarious liability" if the driver's actions were within the scope of their job duties.
  • Manufacturers: If a defect in the vehicle or vehicle part's design or manufacturing contributed to the accident, you can hold the manufacturer or seller of that vehicle or part liable. This could include issues with brakes, tires, airbags, or other critical components. 
  • Government entity: If the accident was caused by a hazardous road condition, such as poor road maintenance, inadequate signage, or faulty traffic signals, you can hold a government entity responsible for road maintenance liable. 
  • Passenger in the vehicle: Passengers can also contribute to an accident through their actions or negligence. For example, a passenger distracting the driver or encouraging reckless behavior could share liability. 
  • Pedestrians or bicyclists: Pedestrians or bicyclists involved in an accident with a vehicle may also hold a share of liability if their actions contributed to the collision. 

How Do You Prove Fault in a Car Accident?

Negligence in a car accident refers to the failure of a person to exercise the level of care that a reasonably prudent person would have exercised under similar circumstances, resulting in harm to another person.

To establish a negligence claim in a car accident case, the plaintiff (injured party) generally needs to prove four key elements:

  1. Duty of care: The defendant (allegedly at-fault party) must have owed a duty of care to the plaintiff. This duty typically involves acting reasonably and responsibly to avoid causing harm to others. For example, a driver owes a duty of care to other road users to follow traffic laws, obey speed limits, and avoid distracted driving.
  2. Breach of duty: The defendant must have breached their duty of care by failing to act reasonably under the circumstances. This breach is often determined by evaluating the defendant's actions or inactions. So, if a driver ran a red light and caused an accident, they breached their duty of care by failing to follow traffic signals and causing harm to others.
  3. Causation: The plaintiff must show that the defendant's breach of duty was the actual and proximate cause of the plaintiff's injuries. This means that the defendant's actions directly led to the harm suffered by the plaintiff. For example, if a driver failed to yield the right-of-way and collided with another vehicle, the occupants of the other vehicle can show a direct causal link between the driver's breach of duty and the injuries.
  4. Damages: Finally, the plaintiff must have suffered actual damages, whether physical injuries, property damage, emotional distress, or other measurable losses. 

What Happens if I’m Partly to Blame for the Car Accident?

Minnesota follows a comparative negligence rule in car accident cases. Comparative negligence, or comparative fault, is a legal principle used to determine how damages are allocated in personal injury cases when more than one party is at fault for the accident. This principle considers the degree of fault of each party involved and reduces the compensation each party receives based on their percentage of fault. 

Under Minnesota's modified comparative negligence rule, a plaintiff can recover damages from the defendant only if the plaintiff's degree of fault is not greater than the defendant's. In other words, the plaintiff must bear less than 50 percent of the fault for the accident. If the plaintiff bears more than 50 percent of the fault, they cannot recover any damages from other parties. 

Minnesota’s comparative negligence rules will come into play whether you’re negotiating with an insurance company or arguing the case in court. Consult a car accident lawyer about your legal options. 

What are the Common Causes of Auto Accidents in Minnetonka?

Common causes of car accidents in Minnetonka, as in many other places, can vary, but some factors tend to contribute more frequently to accidents on the road.

Here are some common causes of car accidents in Minnetonka:

  • Distracted driving: This is a significant cause of accidents nationwide. Activities like texting, talking on the phone, eating, or using in-car entertainment systems divert a driver's attention from the road.
  • Speeding: Driving at speeds above the posted limits or too fast for road and weather conditions reduces a driver's ability to react to unexpected situations and increases the severity of accidents.
  • Drunk driving: Operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs impairs a driver's coordination, judgment, and reaction times, leading to accidents.
  • Aggressive driving: Behaviors such as tailgating, road rage, aggressive lane changes, and excessive speeding contribute to accidents.
  • Weather conditions: Minnesota's harsh winters can lead to icy roads, reduced visibility, and challenging driving conditions, increasing the risk of accidents. 
  • Running red lights and stop signs: Failing to obey traffic signals and stop signs can lead to severe accidents, particularly at intersections. 
  • Fatigue: Drowsy driving can impair a driver's focus and reaction times, leading to accidents, especially on long stretches of highway. 
  • Poor road conditions: Potholes, inadequate road maintenance, and lack of proper signage can contribute to accidents. 
  • Inexperienced drivers: Inexperienced or young drivers may lack the skills to handle challenging situations, increasing the likelihood of accidents. 
  • Failure to yield right of way: Drivers failing to yield when required, especially at intersections, can lead to collisions.
  • Vehicle defects: Mechanical or vehicle defects, such as brake failures or tire blowouts, can cause accidents. 
  • Tailgating: Following too closely behind another vehicle reduces the reaction time if the leading vehicle suddenly brakes or encounters an obstacle. 
  • Unsafe lane changes: Changing lanes without signaling, failing to check blind spots, or improperly merging can lead to collisions. 
  • Construction zones: Construction areas pose risks due to reduced lanes, shifting traffic patterns, and potential driver confusion. 

Contact a Minnetonka Car Accident Lawyer at Fields Injury Law Today

Attorney Steve Fields
Minnetonka Car Accident Attorney, Steve Fields

Medical bills can add up quickly when you or a family member sustained injuries in a car accident.

You shouldn’t have to suffer financially for someone else’s negligence or carelessness. You deserve compensation for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and other damages.

An experienced Minnesota personal injury attorney at Fields Injury Law can explain your rights. Contact us today at (612) 206-3495 or through our online form for your free consultation.